New Medieval Books: American Vikings
American Vikings: How the Norse Sailed into the Lands and Imaginations of America
By Martyn Whittock
The first part of this details the Norse arrival in North America, incorporating the latest research on the topic. The second part examines how Americans have been fascinated by the Viking mythos and its effects on culture and politics in the United States.
This book separates fact from fiction, evidence from “fake news,” myth from mischief. It involves claims regarding the furthest and most controversial of the Viking adventures, to North America itself and, after that, into the North American imagination. In exploring this epic story and the evidence for it, the North Atlantic world must be explored, since, today as in the year 1000, the claims regarding these Norse adventurers connect two worlds, the “New World” and the “Old” (both “New” and “Old” being terms rooted in a European perspective, since Native Americans had known their world for millennia). Furthermore, the search for the Vikings and their enduring legacy connects a wide range of different areas of human life, from archaeology to mythology; from travel and warfare to homemaking in a new world; from ancient history to modern public relations and even to radicalized ideology.
Who is this book for?
While this is not the only book to detail Norse exploration of the Americas, it offers more information and research than similar titles. Moreover, it offers a very good look at how Viking nostalgia continues to be very popular in America right up to the present day, giving it a fresh and timely feel. It will appeal to those interested in either the Norse themselves or medievalism.
Having authored over 50 books, Martyn Whittock is a well-established author in the field of history. His main interests are Christianity, the Norse, and English history.
Martyn explains what led him to write this particular book:
For many years I have been fascinated by early medieval history, and particularly the communities of the Viking Age both in Scandinavia and in the Norse diaspora. Recently, I have also become very interested in “Deep Stories.” These are the ways in which modern individuals and societies draw on the past in attempts to define themselves and their relationship with history. The Norse of the Viking Age have become deeply interwoven into many modern (and sometimes very conflicted) “Deep Stories”. It was this fascination with both the past, and the use and manipulation of the past, which prompted me to write American Vikings.
You can also learn more about the book from the publisher’s website
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